Leadtek WinFast A380 Ultra TDH MyVIVO

Review

posted 11/26/2003 by John Yan
other articles by John Yan
One Page Platforms: PC


Another good feature that Leadtek has done with the card is the VIVO capabilities. In place of the normal S-Video connector, Leadtek has included an AV cable that has Video In, Video Out, and Component Out. HDTV owners will be happy to see the component connections. With the card, you can also do some multimedia editing and Leadtek has included a Ulead software bundle to assist you. Video Studio 7 SE DVD, DVD Movie Factory 2.5, and Cool 3D 3.0 SE lets you author videos that you capture with the card. And if that's not enough, Leadtek has also included WinFast DVD and WinFast PVR. WinFast PVR allows you to timeshift and record incoming video. Since there is no tuner, you have to have a separate tuner plugged in to the WinFast A380 to watch TV. But if you do, you can watch, record, and interactive with live TV. Picture and picture is also supported by using a recorded video for the second multimedia source. While it's not as advanced as Snapstream or Sage TV, the WinFast PVR allows you to have a poor-man's version of those software and you can record in a good number of formats. WinFast DVD, of course, allows you to watch DVDs on your computer if you have a DVD drive. It's on par with other company's bundled DVD players. The card’s VIVO features give it more use than just a pure gaming card and that adds value. I, being a multimedia enthusiast, greatly appreciate the VIVO features that Leadtek has added to this card.



Two games are bundled with the card. Gunmetal and Big Mutha Truckers aren’t AAA titles at all though. I would’ve liked to have seen a better bundle in terms of games, but that’s definitely nothing against Leadtek’s card. The card is the main seller and I’ve never chosen a company’s card over another by factoring in what games they included. With ATI bundling Half-Life 2 and other NVIDIA manufactures bundling some good titles, the Leadtek game bundle could stand for an upgrade.

WinFox is Leadtek's little utility to do various functions such as upgrade your drivers, firmware, overclock your card, etc. The user interface does seem to be a little behind the times though, but that doesn't take away from the tasks it can do. You can even have it remind you to take a break for those that work too long on the computer. The utility puts a lot of options at your fingertips and hopefully Leadtek will continue to improve it.

Here’s the test setup. I am comparing the card to a Sapphire Radeon 9800 XT and a clean copy of Windows XP. After testing the card, I did a clean ghost of the machine so that no residual drivers remained. Catalyst 3.9 drivers were used for the Radeon 9800 XT and version 52.16 WHQL-certified drivers were used for the WinFast A380. The test bed is as follows:

AMD AthlonXP 2500+
ABIT NF7-S motherboard
2 -256MB Crucial PC3200 RAM
120 GIG 7200 RPM Maxtor hard drive
Windows XP Service Pack 1
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